Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shells, Shells, Shells

After seeing the hand quilting on the clam shell quilt at The Brown Dirt Cottage, I decided it was time to pull mine into the rotation again.

I think I am about half way through the top.  A long way before I get to the quilting...

I am alternating light and dark prints in the rows - not attempting to reproduce any particular time period - other than pre-1900's.   A couple rows are a little muddy - but I like that!

I also have a pile cut and ready for hand piecing.

See my metal ARDCO template?
I have several of these templates and I love them!
Metal, sandpaper backs, easy to use...available in numerous shapes and sizes.

For this project, I marked the front of the fabric and use a needle turn technique to apply each shell to the row.  There are many techniques to do this, depending on your stitching preferences.

I adore the shell related sewing accessories in my collection.  I have too many for a single post!
This undocumented shell pin cushion looks just like a Shaker creation.

"Sisters at the North Family, at Sabbath Lake made a scallop shell cushion around 1880. These were never advertised"  (1)
"The shells were harvested from the Maine shore, thus no two are alike.  By the time the first catalog was issued in 1910, this style of pin cushion was no longer being made." (2)

These small shell containers, are often seen as thimble holders.
The larger of the three shown is about 4" long.  It will easily hold a small sewing kit.
The medium one is shown with an adult size 8 thimble and the little one has a child sized thimble.

I only but the older shells with the beaded brass rim and two tab latch.

Happy Stitching!
Have a great week.

(1)  From Shaker Lands - Products of The Hands pg 156 M. Stephen Miller
(2) Inspired Innovations - A celebration of Shaker Ingenuity Pg 145  M. Stephen Miller
Thimble Holder Museum  HERE


  1. I adore your clamshell quilt. Those quilts make me drool and I AM going to make one someday! Thanks for the info. about your template. That's the best one I've seen yet!

  2. Thank you so much for posting that link on the templates. I didn't know about those and have collecting fabrics and scraps for a clammshell. I just love yours!!

  3. I meant to ask how you were putting your clamshells together - with a backing or just attaching them together?

  4. I am a fan of Ardco templates. I like the diamond shape for the tumbling block quilt. That was a hand piecing project and the cut out metal template made it very easy to mark the sewing line and also to cut the shape with a rotary cutter.

  5. I meant to ask how you were putting your clamshells together - with a backing or just attaching them together?

  6. Looks like you're ready for the beach. Your clamshells are a beautiful combination. The alternating lights and darks really add to the visual impact of such a committed project. And the hinged shells are so interesting and delicate looking. Wow! What a treasure.

  7. Love your clamshells. I have a project somewhere in a box with these, think I have put two rows together.

  8. Your shells are so fantastic.
    Grit from Germany

  9. The first 'row' is really a starter strip. My big picture plan is a border print, the first row will attach to. The side clams will be cut in half, although I could do the entire thing 'on top' of the border. I have time to think about that!
    There is no foundation.
    When you look at the back it looks like a hand sewn seam with the 1/4" allowance.

  10. So cool! Your Clamshell quilt looks so different from mine. lol! Love all your shell accessories too!

  11. I always enjoy seeing your wonderful collections.
    The clam shell template looks interesting I haven't seen a metal one before.

  12. Wow, you GO GIRL!! Yes, I will be cheering you on!!!

    I'm happy to say mine is completely finished!! YIPPEE!!
    I finished just a few weeks ago and have not posted a photo yet.

    I worked on mine off and on and it took me exactly 2 yrs.....that includes the hand quilting!!

    Just work on it a while at a time and then one day you will have it all finished and you will LOVE IT!!!!

  13. Wow! The clam shells look great.

  14. love your quilt, so worth working on~
    cute shell notions.

  15. Your quilt is going to be beautiful, Dawn. I love clamshell quilts, but have no idea how to start sewing one together. There must be tutorials online. I had no idea there were clamshell sewing accessories. You have a tie in for everything! Enjoyed your post.

  16. It is beautiful Dawn!! A slow but worthy hand project, for sure!!
    Lovely clamshell notions too:)

  17. Amazing, your quilt progress and your sewing notions. n

  18. our Clamshell quilt is lovely - aren't Ardco templates wonderful? I too have one of those small shell containers, which I bought 30 years ago in a charming little antique shop off thee Spanish Steps in Rome. Small world :-)

  19. I love your clamshell quilt colours!
    Thank you for the link to Ardco. I haven't seen their templtes before.
    My DD had one of those shell containers.

  20. Your clam shell top is wonderful. Clever to have the shell sewing accessories along with it! Could you show a couple of more close up photos of the scallop pin cushion? I'm curious about how it's constructed.

  21. that shaker shell pincushion is wonderfully unique~!
    and your clamshell quilt piece is is very inspiring. it looks like it would be tough to keep it all lined up just right but yours is beautiful.


  22. I am now taking time to thoroughly read your last several posts - I really wasn't ignoring you. Your clam shells are just lovely - I too like the "muddy" rows!! Scrap quilts are my all time favorite! Your clam sewing aides are amazing - your collection continues to amaze me!!



Thanks for your comments!